Team BikeRadar’s Fort Bill report

Solid performances on sun-kissed Scottish mountains

FortWilliam delivered the goods once again with another great World Cup weekend. The toughest tracks, the best organisation and a bonus this year: sun! That’s right, the magic ingredient that brings out both spectators and midges in their thousands, graced the Scottish mountains all week long. This made the infamously tough track faster, rougher, and more spectacular than ever.

Team BikeRadar’s Marc Beaumont had a return to form after injury plagued his previous two outings. A long stay in the Nissan Hot Seat after a solid final run put the smile back on his face, and an eventual 14th  place was the result of a week of digging deep and getting the job done to ensure World Championship selection for Italy next week.

Marc said: “After Andorra I was a bit low, struggling to do more than two runs a day because of the pain in my shoulder. I couldn’t help thinking Fort William would be a step too far if it didn’t improve with a few days rest. I’ve been having a lot of physio to get back in shape and it seems to be working as even with the nature of this track it held up pretty well. With another week of rest and training I’m confident to be right back to top form for the big one in Italy.”

Marc heads for the finishing line

Neil struggled with bike set up in practice and had a mechanical gremlin on board, which was mainly down to the severity of the FortWilliam track. He put that behind him for his race run and everything went well.

Like Marc he spent a long time in the Hot Seat before being toppled near the end by the top seeds. He finished 25th which, given his limited practice, was a boost to his confidence on the last day. Neil will take a few days rest now before heading out to Willingen for the Wheels of Speed invitational race at the huge German Bike Festival.

To see a video of one of Neil's practice runs at Fort William, as well as other footage from the team this year, see below:

My main focus for the weekend was 4X and I was pleased to finish 12th and earn selection for the British team at the World Championships. Coming up against Jared Graves (eventual winner) and Cedric Gracia in the quarters was a tall order, I got a good gate and battled hard, crossing the line half a wheel behind Gracia in third, ahead of Scott Beaumont, meaning my evening was over albeit after some great racing in front of a home crowd.

So with my fifteenth consecutive World Champs ahead it’s time to get some final training rides and preparation under way. Team BikeRadar will have lots of news, movies and pictures to come all next week straight from the World Champs. Stay tuned.

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